Once upon a time there used to be billboards for Virginia Slims cigarettes with the slogans, "You've come a long way, baby." The billboards are gone now, but in their place are billboards for All-American Muslim which substitute the hijab for the cigarette. The same left which was outraged at a company marketing cigarettes as a form of female empowerment is completely supportive of marketing 7th century Islamic misogyny as female empowerment.
"The Fast and the Furious," the second episode of TLC's All-American Muslim, plays out like a hijab commercial, along with a pitch for the Ramadan fast. But what is missing is any acknowledgement of the violent means by which the hijab is imposed on Muslim and non-Muslim women around the world. For many women, even in North America, the consequences of not wearing the hijab can be fatal.
Sixteen-year-old Aqsa Parvaz was strangled to death by her father because she refused to wear a hijab… not somewhere in Pakistan, but in Ontario. In that same city, Mohammad Shafia killed his three daughters, ranging in age from 13 to 19, over their refusal to wear hijabs. There is no way to know if Virginia Slims or the hijab killed more women, but we do know that today it is unacceptable to show women smoking, but it is acceptable to promote treating them as chattel.